JuneShine & De La Calle’s Tepache: What Makes Them Different

People often assume that tepache is the same as kombucha. Although these two drinks have several similarities, there are important differences between the two that you should know about. This article will take a close look at the differences between JuneShine hard kombucha and De La Calle tepache, so you know which to choose for a chill night in or a night on the town. 

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An Overview of JuneShine and De La Calle

This section will give you a general overview of each drink before we dive into a side-by-side comparison of JuneShine and De La Calle tepache in later sections. 

What Is JuneShine?

JuneShine is hard kombucha with an ABV of 6%. The average ABV of beer is 4.5%, and the average ABV for wine is 11.6%, so JuneShine is slightly more alcoholic than beer but contains less alcohol than a glass of wine. JuneShine comes in a variety of flavors, including Grapefruit Paloma, Chili Mango, Iced Tea Lemonade, Blood Orange Mint, Midnight Painkiller, Hopical Citrus, Acai Berry, and Honey Ginger Lemon. 

Kombucha is the term given to any beverage made from fermented tea. To brew kombucha, you have to start with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, also known as a SCOBY. Unlike most kombucha, JuneShine is made from a jun kombucha SCOBY, giving it a slightly less harsh flavor because it comes from green tea and honey. The SCOBY for most kombucha comes from black tea and sugar. 

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What Is De La Calle’s Tepache? 

De La Calle tepache is a refreshing beverage made from fermented pineapple and flavored with fruits and spices such as mango, chili, ginger, and tamarind. The five core flavors of De La Calle tepache include Ginger Manzana (apple), Moderno Orange Turmeric, Picante (Spicy) Mango Chili, Regional Tamarind Citrus, and Tradicional Pineapple Spice. 

Tepache is a drink native to pre-Columbian Mexico. The base of tepache is always the same: water, pineapple rinds, and core, and some type of sweetener (usually panela). However, given that tepache escaped standardization by the Spanish when they colonized Mexico, thousands of different tepache recipes still exist today. You can find tepache on the streets of Mexico City or in tepacherias in more rural areas. 

Alcoholic Content of JuneShine vs. De La Calle

One of the primary differences between JuneShine and De La Calle’s tepache is the alcoholic content of each drink. This section will provide you with the alcoholic profile of each drink.

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JuneShine 

As previously mentioned, JuneShine is hard kombucha, with an ABV of 6%, making it slightly more alcoholic than a standard beer. You can think of hard kombucha like craft beer. You have to be over 21 to buy JuneShine, and it is served at taprooms alongside other alcoholic beverages. 

Although all kombucha contains a small amount of alcohol, JuneShine is specifically brewed to have higher alcohol content. 

De La Calle Tepache

De La Calle’s tepache, on the other hand, is not considered an alcoholic beverage. During fermentation, the sugars in tepache are broken down into alcohol and carbon dioxide, which accounts for the very small amount of alcohol in tepache. 

The ABV of tepache is usually between 0.5%-2%, considerably lower than that of JuneShine. In the United States, a beverage has to contain less than 0.5% alcohol or less to be considered “non-alcoholic.”

Can De La Calle Tepache Be Used In Cocktails? 

Yes! De La Calle tepache is a fantastic addition to many of your favorite cocktails. You can experiment with tepache by swapping tepache for pineapple juice in some of your favorite cocktails, such as the Bahama Mama, mojito, or martini. Given that tepache is bubbly and has a light, subtle flavor, it can give cocktails a refreshing texture and subtle, delicious flavor. 

If you’re not in the mood to make a cocktail, but you still want to make your tepache alcoholic, you can simply add a splash of beer or tequila to your tepache. This is a popular way to drink tepache in Mexico and pairs nicely with traditional Mexican street food, also known as antojitos.

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Grapefruit Paloma vs. Tepache Paloma 

For example, one easy cocktail you can make at home is the Tepache Paloma. One of JuneShine’s classic flavors is the Grapefruit Paloma, a cocktail traditionally made with grapefruit juice, club soda, and tequila. If you want to make a Paloma at home, you can simply substitute the grapefruit juice for tepache. 

Unlike JuneShine’s take on the Paloma, a Paloma made with tepache will have tequila, giving it a higher ABV, and can be made with fresh grapefruit and lime juice. Although it is convenient to have a cocktail premade in a can, the great benefit of making your cocktails at home is that you can ensure freshness and control the amount of alcohol that goes into them. 

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Can Everyone Drink Tepache? 

Given that tepache has such a low alcohol content, everyone can enjoy tepache. In fact, De La Calle’s tepache makes an excellent substitution for the drinks kids usually prefer, like juice and soda

Given that the pineapple used to ferment makes it naturally sweet, it has the same fruity flavor as juice. The carbonation that develops during fermentation makes tepache texturally similar to soda. However, unlike both juice and soda, tepache contains minimal added sugar and has several health benefits. 

Sweetener in JuneShine and De La Calle

Another significant difference between JuneShine and De La Calle tepache is the type of sweetener used to give these drinks their distinct flavor, although both are low in added sugar. Check out this section to learn more about what ingredients go into JuneShine vs. De La Calle tepache. 

JuneShine vs. De La Calle Tepache 

In order to sweeten their hard kombucha, JuneShine adds organic cane sugar, whereas De La Calle sweetens their tepache with turbinado sugar. Although there is not a significant nutritional difference between these two sweeteners, there is a noticeable difference in taste. 

Turbinado sugar is distinguishable from other types of sugar because of its light brown color and large crystals. Even though it is also made from sugarcane, it is only partially refined. This difference in production allows turbinado sugar to maintain some of the natural molasses and original flavor of the sugarcane. For this reason, turbinado sugar does more than simply sweeten De La Calle’s tepache. It adds another complex, deep flavor to the drink, which helps give the tepache a distinct, robust flavor. 

Conclusion

Both JuneShine kombucha and De La Calle tepache are made from fermented products. However, JuneShine is made from fermented green tea and honey, whereas De La Calle tepache is made from fermented pineapple. JuneShine is hard kombucha, meaning that it has an ABV of 6%, making it an alcoholic beverage. 

De La Calle tepache, on the other hand, is not considered an alcoholic beverage, although it contains a very small amount of alcohol due to fermentation. That being said, it is easy to make tepache alcoholic by adding a splash of beer or tequila to the beverage. If you’re feeling experimental, you can also make tepache alcoholic by making a tepache cocktail such as a Tepache Paloma. The great benefit of choosing De La Calle as your fermented beverage of choice is that you can give it to your kids as a substitute for soda and use it as a cocktail base. 

Another difference between JuneShine and De La Calle tepache is the sweetener used in each product. JuneShine is sweetened with organic cane sugar, whereas De La Calle tepache is sweetened with turbinado sugar, a less refined, more flavorful type of sugar. 

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Sources:

5 Reasons You Should Add More Fermented Foods to Your Diet | Cleveland Clinic

Sugary Drinks | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Dietary components in the development of leptin resistance | NIH

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